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When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like a clean bathroom and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP.

Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.” Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture? If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”

Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

Decor Ideas:
1. Use a decorative wine bucket filled with flowers as your table centerpiece. This works if you have a separate table where you will place the food. If the wine tasting is conducted at one table where your guests are sitting, then you need lower height decorations where everyone can see over the arrangements. Use wine glasses randomly placed down the table with sprigs of flowers in them. 

  • Lisa Lou

Image Matters

Updated: Jun 19

Which home would you purchase?

Which guy would you date?

Which books would you buy?

I recently asked a group of college students these questions showing them the same photos. I had them shout out adjectives for the pictures they were viewing. For the home I heard: beautiful; wealthy; cared for; loving family; some place I want to live. For the broken-down home they said: old; no curb appeal; I wouldn’t go near it; scary; unstable.

For the well-dressed man the descriptions were: successful; cares about himself; confident; knows where he is going in life. For the couch-potato man: unsuccessful; not motivated; a slob; poor; doesn’t care about anyone but himself.

For the two books, I am sure you can guess which one the students said they would purchase, and which one they would leave on the shelf.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” we grew up hearing. Well, guess what? Every one of these college girls just did (and I bet you did, too!). Image matters!

First impressions are formed within 2 seconds. Whether you speak with that person or not. We did not speak to the men in the pictures above, yet we already have opinions about the type of people they are. When a company wants to sell a product, they hire a marketing firm to create beautiful images that will speak to their customers. They try to create an image that makes you say, “I can’t live without that!” People are no different. When we market ourselves and show we care about our outward “package” we are telling others we take pride in who we are. Our image tells a story. The question is, what story is it telling?

A research study led by a Harvard professor revealed women in the work force who wore makeup were viewed as more competent, friendlier, AND made 10% more than women who did not wear makeup. This was not glamour makeup, but just enough to show they cared about their appearance. Too much makeup gave the impression the subject was not comfortable with herself and no makeup made people think she was anti-social. This study had NOTHING to do with whether people thought the test subjects were physically attractive. I want to make that clear. The result of the study: people that appeared to groom themselves and show pride in themselves were better received than those that did not.

If an employer sees a potential employee as someone that is well groomed, they will think, “If she takes pride in herself, then I know she will take pride in our company and represent us well.” Yet, the opposite is also true. If we do not show we take pride in the image we portray, a future employer may think, “If she does not take pride in who she is, then why can I trust that she will take pride in our company?”

Look at the below photos and ask yourself, “Where does my eye immediately go?”

Both women are physically beautiful, but in the first photo the eye is drawn to the triangle area of the woman’s face. Somewhere between the forehead and the neck is where the eye lands. In the second photo, where did your eyes go? For most, it would go straight to the cleavage!

As women, we want our appearance to say many things about us, but the most important thing to portray is strength in who we are as a person. How do we do this? Where is our center of power found? Answer: In the triangle of our face.

If we do anything to take a person’s eyes away from our face, we have lost power. When we arrive at an event not dressed appropriately, it does not make us look unique, it makes us look like we do not know what we are doing. And that, my friends, reduces our strength.

How we appear on the outside reflects who we are on the inside. I love the example Cynthia Grosso, owner of the Charleston School of Protocol, uses when she describes an iceberg in comparison to our image. She says the top of the iceberg that is visible makes up 15% of the entire formation. The other 85% of the ice is under the water and out of sight. It is not visible to our naked eye.

This holds true to our image, as well. How we portray ourselves on the outside is a direct reflection of who we are on the inside. Our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors (the hidden part of the iceberg) WILL be reflected in our exterior image (the visible part of the iceberg), which includes our appearance and our manners. Though the other person forming a first impression about us may bring their biases into the decision, they are forming their first impression based on what WE are telling them. Though we may never speak, we are communicating very loudly to that person what they should think.

“What you are shouts so loudly in my ears I cannot hear what you say.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson. Your image is your resume in billboard fashion. Take pride in yourself. You are your own best advocate!

Together with you,

Lisa Lou

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© 2020 Lisa Lou by Kaio

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